Where Should You Not Use a Foam Roller?

A foam roller is an excellent instrument for myofascial release as a warm-up or cool-down technique. It alleviates muscle tightness and gives you a relaxed feeling. However, you should be careful not to hurt yourself while using it as it’s unsuitable for some body parts. So, where should you not use a foam roller?

You should use a foam roller only on the areas with muscle tissues and bony protection underneath. Don’t use the foam roller on your neck, abdomen, and lower back. Women should also avoid using the foam roller on the chest area since it causes an uncomfortable feeling. 

Where Should You Not Use a Foam Roller

In this article, you’ll learn how the foam roller may harm your body, what parts of the body you should and shouldn’t use it on, and how to avoid potential damage while using a foam roller. 

Suppose you are in a hurry to see the best foam rollers that are safe and easy to use; check the products below.

 

Where Can You Not Foam Roll? 🤔

 

Lower Back

Lower Back

We do not recommend you foam roll your lower back as most people tense their trunk muscles and roll the foam roller quickly.

The inappropriate form applies excessive pressure on the area, which causes deformation and worsens lower back strain

Moreover, your internal organs, such as the kidneys and liver, don’t have much fat protection in the lower back area.

Foam rolling against the lower back may endanger these organs.  

See our post on back stretchers to see the best stretchers to use in place of foam rolling.

 

Abdomen

Foam Roller Abdomen

Image Source: Ignore Limits

The human body has many organs in the abdominal region, including the small and large intestines and stomach.

Like the kidneys and liver, these organs also have less protection.

Therefore, rolling this area can damage them. 

 

Neck

Foam Roller on Neck

Foam rolling the neck puts a lot of tension on the cervical spine.

The cervical spine is a part of your central neural system that passes through the neck.

Any damage to this area can cause chronic neck pain and severe neurological issues.  

You can try neck massagers if you are strained your neck and wish to relax that area or relieve stiffness. See our top three below.

Preview
Best Overall
Massagers for Neck and Back with Heat - Deep Tissue 3D Kneading Pillow, Electric Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massage, Shoulders, Foot, Legs,Body - Relieve Muscle Pain - Office, Home & Car
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Product Name
RESTEK Massagers for Neck and Back
MoCuishle Neck and Back Massager
Mirakel Neck Massager
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Can be used all over the body
Suitable for use on other body parts
Not indicated if suitable for other body parts
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Best Overall
Preview
Massagers for Neck and Back with Heat - Deep Tissue 3D Kneading Pillow, Electric Shiatsu Back Neck and Shoulder Massage, Shoulders, Foot, Legs,Body - Relieve Muscle Pain - Office, Home & Car
Product Name
RESTEK Massagers for Neck and Back
Color Options
Black/Gray
Material
Leather
Versatility
Can be used all over the body
Heat Function
Portability
Interested?
Best Alternative
Preview
Neck Massager, Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat, Back Massager Deep Tissue Kneading for Back, Neck, Shoulder, Foot, Leg, Foot Massager, Electric Massager Gifts for Women/Men/Mom/Dad
Product Name
MoCuishle Neck and Back Massager
Color Options
Navy/Blue
Material
Not Indicated
Versatility
Suitable for use on other body parts
Heat Function
Portability
Interested?
Best Budget
Preview
Back Massager, Shiatsu Back Neck Massager with Heat, Electric Shoulder Massager, Kneading Massage Pillow for Neck, Back, Shoulder, Muscle Pain Relief, Get Well Soon Presents - Christmas Gifts
Product Name
Mirakel Neck Massager
Color Options
Gray/Yellow
Material
PU+Linen
Versatility
Not indicated if suitable for other body parts
Heat Function
Portability
Interested?

 

 

Can Foam Rolling Be Harmful? 🧐

Can Foam Roller be Harmful

A foam roller is a safe tool for warming up, cooling down, and releasing muscle tension.

However, it may be harmful like other sports equipment if you don’t use it properly.

To foam roll safely, avoid the following mistakes: 

 

Don’t Foam Roll Cold Muscles.

You need to warm your muscles up before using a foam roller with a softer pressure to avoid damaging your muscles and causing inflammation.

Also, instead of aggressively moving the foam roller over your cold muscles, gently move your body against the still foam roller.

This way, you generate heat and warm up your tense muscles

 

Don’t Foam Roll in One Direction.

Don’t Foam Roll in One Direction

Fascia and muscles go in different directions, so you should cover them all.

Foam rolling in one Direction can put too much pressure on that part of your body and damage your tissues. 

You can apply pressure in different directions by keeping the foam roller still and twisting your limb from side to side. 

Then roll it along the muscle to cover the fascia and the muscles in all directions. 

 

Don’t Be in a Rush 

You use a foam roller to increase blood flow, joint flexibility, and range of motion and ease the tension in your muscles.

Therefore, you need to use the foam roller slowly to achieve these goals.

Fast foam rolling can injure your muscle and fascia and cause more pain and stiffness.

 

Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure.

Dont Apply So Much Pressure

You need to apply the right amount of pressure (not too much and not too little) to get the best results.

Begin with a medium pace since going too fast decreases the pressure.

Continue based on how you feel.

You should feel a slight discomfort while using a foam roller but no severe pain.  

 

Don’t Foam Roll an Area Too Long.

The best duration for foam rolling is 30 seconds to one minute.

Start with 30 seconds of static pressure—holding the muscle against the foam roller and applying consistent pressure. 

Then, continue with 30 seconds of dynamic pressure.

Dynamic pressure means you move the foam roller against a specific body part, or you move that body part against the foam roller. 

 

How Often Should You Use a Foam Roller? 🙄

How Often Should You Use a Foam Roller

The frequency varies depending on your goals, activity, and body composition.

Individuals who have no muscle tightness don’t have any reason to use a foam roller regularly.

On the other hand, those who suffer from muscular tightness may need to use a foam roller regularly until their tightness is gone. 

Excessive foam roller use may damage your muscle fibers and fascia and cause pain. 

A frequency of two to three times a week sounds adequate.

However, you can gradually increase it to three times a day if it doesn’t worsen the pain.

Continue using the foam roller until the pain and stiffness are completely gone.

 

Also read: Is It Ok to Stretch Multiple Times a Day? 

 

Best Foam Rollers to Buy 😍

Best Foam Rollers to Buy

Choosing a foam roller depends on its price, texture, and density.

Cheaper options are just a roll of soft foam, but ideal foam rollers have an inner plastic cylinder and a dense foam on the surface.

They may also have simple knobs or ridges to release myofascial and trigger points.

 

Gimme 10 Foam Roller

Gimme 10 foam roller is a good option to roll the body and sore muscles.

Gimme 10 Foam Roller for Deep Tissue Massager for Muscle and Myofascial Trigger Point Release

Check Current Price On Amazon

It provides recovery from sciatica pain, strained muscles, and plantar fasciitis by applying firm therapeutic pressure to the tight muscles. 

Pros
    • Eco-friendly material. 
    • Compact size and portable.
    • Triple grid massage zones that mimic a physical therapist’s hands. 
Cons
    • Some complaints about durability. 
    • The outer surface might be too hard for some people.

 

Sale
Gimme 10 Foam Roller for Deep Tissue Massager for Muscle and Myofascial Trigger Point Release
6,778 Reviews
Gimme 10 Foam Roller for Deep Tissue Massager for Muscle and Myofascial Trigger Point Release
  • Package Contents: One (1) Roller - 13 inches x 5.25 inch diameter , A heavy duty ABS hollow core muscle roller with triple grid massage zones to mimic a physical therapists finger , palm , and thumb
  • High performance , eco friendly , medium density EVA foam massage roller soothes the back , leg , quad , hamstring , it band , foot , fascia , calves , hip , shoulder , fingers , forearm , reduces scar tissue and cellulite

 

AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller

This product is an ideal tool for strengthening, flexibility, balance, and rehab exercises.

Amazon Basics High-Density Round Foam Roller for Exercise and Recovery - 36 Inch, Black

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You can use it to massage your muscles, perform physiotherapy movements, and do pilates and yoga. 

Pros
    • Affordable price
    • Thirty-day warranty 
    • Firm material quality
    • Lightweight and easy to transport
Cons
    • It may leave a black oily residue 
    • Some complaints about the sturdiness 

 

Amazon Basics High-Density Round Foam Roller for Exercise and Recovery - 36 Inch, Black
71,504 Reviews
Amazon Basics High-Density Round Foam Roller for Exercise and Recovery - 36 Inch, Black
  • High-density foam roller with molded edges
  • Ideal for balance, strengthening, flexibility, and rehab exercises

 

Frequently Asked Questions 😏 

Can You Overdo Foam Rolling?

Can You Overdo Foam Rolling

Yes, you can. Excessive foam roller use on a specific body part can cause problems as that area is under a lot of pressure.

Sustained pressure causes damage to the muscle and fascial tissue and produces inflammatory compounds, which leads to stiffness and soreness.

Don’t use a foam roller for more than one minute for each muscle group. 

Can You Use a Foam Roller When Injured?

You can use foam rollers for some injuries.
These injuries include plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, shin splints, and Achilles tendinopathy.

A foam roller can help alleviate these conditions by rolling the right muscle group with appropriate pressure.
However, the process requires some time. 

Does Foam Rolling Help Muscle Knots?

Does Foam Rolling Help Muscle Knots

Yes, they do. Foam rollers are an excellent tool to get rid of muscle knots.

You just need to roll over the tight muscles and relax to lose the knots.
Apply deep pressure until you feel relief. Then, apply rhythmical movements.

You can also combine foam rolling with stretching or yoga to get the best results.

Final Thoughts 🤗

How best to use a foam roller

Although using a foam roller has many benefits for your body, in some cases, it can harm you.

Where should you not use a foam roller? Don’t use a foam roller on your lower back, abdomen, and neck.

You shouldn’t use a foam roller on cold muscles, roll fast and use it for a long time with the wrong amount of pressure.

Apply the foam roller in different directions and hold it for 30 seconds to one minute.

Use a foam roller two to three times a week, and gradually increase it to three times a day if it doesn’t worsen the pain until it goes away. 

Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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